AfterDawn: Tech news

Sony ordered to halt U.S. Playstation sales

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 28 Mar 2005 5:22 User comments (34)

Sony ordered to halt U.S. Playstation sales Sony said on Monday that it has been ordered by a U.S. court to halt sales of its Playstation consoles in the United States and also was ordered to pay $90 million in damages to Immersion Corp. Sony Computer Entertainment plans to appeal the decision. Immersion claims that Sony Computer Entertainment infringed on its technology that makes game controllers vibrate in sync with action in video games. Sony will continue to sell its consoles for now however, as the order wont go into effect before the appeal.
Immersion's total revenues in 2004 were $23.8 million which is less than a third of the $90 million Sony has been ordered to pay in damages. More accurately, Sony was ordered to pay $82 million but the figure rises to $90 million when interest is taken into account. Games have been Sony's profit driver in recent years, accounting for 44 percent of the company's group operating profit from October to December.

Immersions current market value is $135 million, which again demonstrates the impact $90 million (two thirds of the market value) extra would have on the company. An SCE spokeswoman said also that Sony will be paying compulsory license fees to Immersion.


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34 user comments

128.3.2005 5:49

HAHA Sony you guys had it coming

228.3.2005 6:25

Well...what can I say, that is certainly going to tick off some share holders, because that is just dirty business. However, I think with the launch of the psp they will make up for it in a big way! Damn, that has got to suck! ;)

328.3.2005 7:12

All it means is that all the future PS console and game buyers will have to chip-in to make that payment... Sorry but that's the reality.

428.3.2005 7:33

Holy crap! that gotta hurt. Sony must be going out of they're mind, Sony should've just bought over Immersion Corp. back when they first came up with the dual shock for the PS1. Does that mean we're not gonna have PS3 anymore?

528.3.2005 7:38

Sony is an excellent company, and I'm sure their appeal will go through. Just cause Immersion has vibrating controllers? Please...

628.3.2005 8:21

hey guys whats this about? whats immersion? whats going on with the ps2 vibrating controller?

728.3.2005 8:29

ha ha ha ha ha :) I like it when the big companys loose, they think they run the world. darkbal read the afterdawn news. They were after microsoft as well but they came to a license agreement, sony should have done that.

828.3.2005 9:06

Let the suing begin.

928.3.2005 10:16

that is bs. They can't just sue Sony. There are tons of companies out there that have vibrating controllers. Xbox, gamecube, gameboy (with the vibrating pack), madcaz, even controllers for computers. The only reason they're sueing is because they're greedy bast**** because the PS has been out for a long time already for like five years so they shouldn't have the right to sue anymore after such a long period of time.

1028.3.2005 11:02

^ Idiot. Read the article. It clearly states that Immersion Corp was first to invent vibrating game controllers. Sony hasn't payed em for infriging that copyright, so Immersion sued em. This has gone just the way its supposed to. Im still pissed at Sony because of the Beatallica-shit so I don't give a ratshit how much they lose money. And I hope that their appeal won't go trough. If the matters are just like the article says, justice has been done. End of story, hopefully.

1128.3.2005 12:55

what if in the ps3 the vibration is not in sync with actions

1228.3.2005 13:53

I doubt it will be out of sync, anyway though, damn man. I love those controllers. I was SO hoping the PS3 would have the same controller. I don't care who gets mad, NO other console has a controller that is as durable, precise,or easy to use as the Playstation controller. This really sucks.

1328.3.2005 14:31

To all the kids here who hate big companies bacause they are... big (and wish they go out of business): That is the most retarded reason to not like a company.

1428.3.2005 14:43

yes there are so many people who bash Sony whenever they get the chance...I don't get it, they're a great company. Their role in the entertainment industry is enourmous.

1528.3.2005 14:57

$90M doesn't sound like much for Sony.

1628.3.2005 17:19

It isn't, but it's the principal. Immersion wouldn't have tripled their damn value even if Sony had bought the technology or paid royalties. Imersion is a bunch of priks and if I ever see their junk i'm not buying it. They took advantage of this lawsuit and is raping the court system for more damn money than their asses are worth. I think I'm going to go buy some more psp and ps2 games now.

1728.3.2005 18:49

WAAAaaa WAAaaaa. Im a poor little cry baby that cant make money. Wait I can sue. Lets go for the big guys. This reminds me of the time Netscape went crying to the courts to make MS stop giving away IE. Mr court we are going broke please make then stop so I can win. I do belive SEGA, Nintendo, Xbox, and SONY all have or had controllers that vibrate. So why single out SONY. Doesnt game cube have vibrating controllers? So why not Nintendo. Xbox even sue those guys as well. SEGA is out of the console days but still sue them for there Vibrating controllers. Don't forget logitech for PC games. Wait I got it. SONY is on the top so there is more money to get. The article is to vauge. Need more info on the relationships between Immersion and all systems I have mentioned here. I bet they are all the same. CRY baby corprate company. If they win I bet they will go after the others. -Del

1828.3.2005 21:17

Believe it or not, other companies have license agreements with immersion. BTW Rumble pack's patent was before immersion's. And guys please don't confuse force feedback with vibration. Only one PC controller has force feedback, amonge with a few joysticks and wheels. Force feedback are in some arcade games.

1928.3.2005 21:20

Well, at least microsoft was smarter. They've been paying immersion corp royalties for sometime now, for exactly the same thing. Sony will have to pay eventually, but it will be passed on to us. It just means slightly more expensive games, that use the technology, Sony won't take the hit.

2028.3.2005 21:33

They will find some way to bounce back. Remember, sony is one of the top electronic giants in the world today. So the ps3 just might make up for it in sales.

2129.3.2005 0:03

Interesting to see the latest developments on Sony vs Immersion hahaha. On with the fight!

2229.3.2005 1:20

Great. So this was Nintendo's secret plan all along. Wait for the PS2 to become successful and let Immersion sue Sony, damaging the competition who stole Nintendo's idea(s) in the first place. Then when the idea proves successful, sue Sony, Immersion and Microsoft since they hold the Rumble Pak patent, and take a nice chunk of cash from each of them. Plus the PS2 and I believe PSP are manufactured at a loss (as is the XBox), so it'll cost them even more to keep the feature, while Nintendo can continue to profit from their own hardware and software.

2329.3.2005 2:30

Exactly what idea did sony steal from nintendo STKD???

2429.3.2005 7:10

Seems like when Sears saw a ratchet that (someone had invented) was better than theirs - you could push a button and the socket would drop off, great when your hands are greasy. So they started making theirs like that. The guy that invented & patented that ratchet sued and finally was awarded an amount (I assume fair market value) based on how many Sears had sold without paying a royalty. Of course they had to pay this royalty from then on (as they should have been doing all along). I don't know if punative damages are awarded in these cases or not. What is unfair about that? Yes, Sony will pay future royalties & continue to use this technology or the like, vibrating controll is a selling point. Perhaps the price will go up, maybe not. They sell them like printers & disposable razors. They (all) make their money on the games themselves, not the consoles. But there is always the greed factor... If enough people hear that they have to pay 90 large then they might be willing to pay a couple of bucks more. Besides, how many of these consoles has Sony sold to date? With a total of 82m (not counting interest which they wouldn't have been responsible for if they had paid when they should have), what does that actually work out to per console and/or controller?

2529.3.2005 8:07

I really wish this msg board inspired intelligent people to post. Anyways, I believe that the Sony's appeals process will win. Why you ask? With both patents and copyrights, the owners have a duty to defend those rights furiously w/o slack. Immerson let this go for several years w/o resolve and should have filed suite years ago, say the day duel shock was available for PS2. But Immerson does own those patents on those SPECIFIC ideas with the vibrating controller being in sync with the game. Most companies have licensed this technology to be used in their products. IE Nintendo, Sega, Microsoft... and 3rd party vendors MadCatz etc etc

2629.3.2005 10:22

Seems like it'd just be cheaper to buy them out and fire everyone involved. Then they'd be getting royalties for Microsoft as an added bonus, a nice kick in the groin. That's just my opinion though, that probably wouldn't go over too well with PR.

2729.3.2005 13:23

very interesting after a decade(1995-2005) when Playstation first hit the scene...

2829.3.2005 14:46

The concept of a vibrating controller shouldn't be patented, if it is that's idiotic. If the concept isn't patented, then maby sony can come up with their own technology that does the same.

2929.3.2005 17:17

The longer you wait the more money you can win. Push the lawsuit a year after it was going on then they may have gotten about 1 million and thats it. I bet thats why they waited 10 years. I agree CONCEPTS should not be patentable. The technology to make the concept work should be the only thing that can carry a patent. If diferent companies come up with thier unique way to make the concept work then it thier own product. Somebody was the fist to come up with the concept of building computers. I don't recall paying royalties to that person when I build my systems. All computers are built on the same concept. -Del

3022.5.2005 11:56

oh well, stuff happens for a reason...

~Much luv for my D.C. Honiez

3113.10.2005 14:47

GOD DAMN you idiots! ^^^^^ (most of you)! The reason that other companies such as NINTENDO AND MADCATZ didn"t get sued was because their vibration feature wasn"t the same as immersions>> by the way you can"t hold a patent on something, but you can hold a patent on the way it works. And nintendo held their own patent on their rumble feature. And by the way Mr_Del Immersion isn't just crying and whining, they are forming a valid claim. Wouldn't you sue someone if you made something and they stole you idea. Why is it that pretty much only idiots post on this msg board?

3215.3.2006 5:36

"Why is it that pretty much only idiots post on this msg board?" Most likely because they are little kids that don't understand how things work in the real world. It's kind of like if you build a house to live in and when it is finished, you go to move in and someone else moved in the night before. They stole your house. You have been denied your home. Are you just going to give it to them Kiddies. No, you are going to sue to get the house you built back. But the kiddies want Sony to have the house they didn't build for free. Idiots.

3315.3.2006 12:06

this is half a year old already dude, let it die go to the new one how they couldn't stop immersions from sueing them

3423.3.2006 8:57

who gives a crap????? who cares?????

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